How many servals are left in the world?

We don’t know how many servals are left in the world at 2017. Don’t be surprised. People who know about assessing the number of the wild cat species know that a lot of the time it’s semi-guesswork. For instance, the population of the cheetah has been overestimated. Sometimes I feel that population sizes are deliberately overestimated to allow hunting of the species. This is due to lobbying pressure from hunting associations and local businesses.

Serval population size is unknown

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The premier organization entrusted with assessing the population sizes of all wild animal species is the International Union for Conservation of Nature – Red List.

On their website they confidently state that the serval is categorised as “Least Concern”. In terms of their classification system this means what it states: that they are satisfied that this wild cat species is currently safe from a conservation standpoint. There is nothing to fear. The serval is not about to become extinct in the wild.

However, they are conspicuously unable to provide any data whatsoever with respect to population size. There are no numbers on their website. They simply state that “the status outside reserves is uncertain, but…may be common in suitable habitat as they are tolerant of farming practices”. This means the serval is ‘common’ (there are lots of them) and lives on farmland but is not killed by farmers (much).

They add that the serval population size (whatever it is) is stable; neither declining or increasing.

There is no better authority on this matter and they provide next to nothing in answer to the question in the title.

Conclusion: we don’t know how many servals there are in the world at 2017. However, it must be in the several thousands at least at a rough guess. Probably up to 10,000. But don’t quote me on that.

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